Slow and Steady

Posts Tagged ‘Family

I’ve had some very interesting experiences this week. They have reminded me that sometimes you just have to leave people to their own devices. Also, sometimes, instead of being quiet to avoid argument, I really must speak up.

The bathroom in my mum’s house has a massive hole in the exterior wall, and the panel for the side of the bath isn’t on so the bathroom is permanently cold. There were also some problems with the toilet, the sink, and the sink in the kitchen.

I decided that even though it’s not my house, I’ll get the panel put on because I don’t want to go into a cold bathroom. I got someone round and he wasn’t able to do it immediately because the panel wasn’t the right size. He did everything else, and promised to come back next week (this week) to put the panel on.

Then I noticed a leak in the bathroom that wasn’t there before, so I called him, and he came round and changed the valve. I asked him what day he’s coming to fix the panel, and he said next week or the week after. I said ‘oh. What happened to this week?’, he started going on about how busy he was so I just said OK, and left it.

What I should have done, is tell him we had an agreement, and let him know I wasn’t happy with the change. It’s not like he’s doing it for free! It might not have changed the situation, but it would’ve made me feel better, and show him I’m not a pushover.

My Mum was away last week, and I thought getting the panel put on would be a nice surprise. Last night however, the leak started again, and she got upset with me for causing this new problem. I felt really hurt because I was only trying to help. The kitchen sink isn’t leaking any more, the toilet and sink are fixed, and you’re upset with me? After calming down, I realised that you know what?

It’s not my house.

If going away is more important to my mum than getting HER house sorted out, that is her decision. I’m not going to get the panel put on now. I’ll just run the shower before I go in so it’s warm like I have been.

It’s not my house.

Then today, my mum comes in shouting the odds about how much money is being spent on gas, as we have a meter. I’ve told her before that the meter is the most expensive way to pay for heating, and sent her the comparison table. What has she done about it? Nothing.

The heating is timed to go off in the mornings at 8.30 when she leaves for work, and come back on at 5.00 so she can come into a warm house.

I spend the days in the house with no heating, under covers with a hot water bottle. So why am I getting shouted at? Is it my fault that you didn’t notice there was no thermostat when that idiot of a man installed the boiler? I didn’t respond to her shouting because I thought if I opened my mouth and said what I thought, she’d get upset, but you know what? Sometimes the truth has to be told.

I just need to practise responding to these situations in a calm non-emotional manner.


There must have been about 800 people at my cousins funeral. It was amazing to see, and I think it shows how nice a person she was. The casket was open. Now the last time I saw a casket open was my little cousin over ten  years ago. It didn’t look anything like him and  it stayed with me for weeks, and I never looked at another open casket again.

My cousin who dressed her though said that she looked like she was just sleeping, so I decided to look and say goodbye. To be honest, I don’t know why people have open caskets, or what is the story behind it. If you’re religious or spiritual then the belief is the persons spirit has left the body and is with us always, so why look at the body?

Anyway I did have a peek and said a few things to her. Her children ran out of the church in tears, it was heartbreaking.

The service was very sombre. Usually Jamaican funerals are a celebration of life, but I think that this one was different because no-one apart from her immediate family knew she was sick, so there was the shock factor too. Also the hymns chosen were very sad.

The hall afterwards was packed, there wasn’t enough space and people were standing outside and in the passage. After sitting down for a while and feeling useless I went to help behind the bar, and really enjoyed it! It was something that I did in my old job and love the banter. Didn’t last long, but afterwards I had people waving at me, and asking me to go back. lol.It’s things like that I miss about the old me.

I didn’t even eat. I tell you what was funny: Funny ironic, not funny funny. My Aunty told everyone who came to the house that she doesn’t want black at the funeral. Every time I saw the queue for food or drink, most of the people were pretty much in black. The people not wearing black were doing things like serving food, or cooking. So it looked like all the effort was made for people who hadn’t even bothered to go and see my aunty.

Then my phone got stolen. I’m still so pissed I can’t write about it. The thing that pisses me off most is the fact I’ve lost my calendar.

My cousin died from cancer recently. She was 34 and has left 2 amazing children behind.

In Jamaican tradition, we support loved ones left behind by bringing food, and celebrating the life of someone that has passed for the 1st 9 days culminating in a huge party on the 9th night. I’ve got my own thoughts on that tradition, but will leave it for the moment.

Now if this had happened before my accident here are the things I would’ve been doing.

  • Picking up the members of the family who don’t drive to bring them down to my Aunty’s house.
  • Making food and buying drinks for the house.
  • Offering food and drinks to guests.
  • Taking my Aunty where she needs to go to get things organised.

That is who I am. In my family that is my role, and while it can be a bit annoying at times, I enjoy it. It makes me happy to help. I feel so lost now that I cannot do these things. It feels like my ID has been taken away, and I don’t know myself any more.  Here’s a text I wrote to my cousin in frustration this week

I hate feeling so bloody useless. Only going to bed now (4am) because the mixer stopped working and as I had already weighed everything out I decided to carry on without it. It all looks and taste awful. I can’t help out financially, I can’t help serve food and drinks, now I can’t even bake without a fucking mixer. What exactly is the point of me being here?

I know it’s about accepting who I am now. It’s just seems like whenever I finally do get acceptance in one area of my life, something else happens in another area so I have to start the whole process again. I’m getting very pissed off with it now. When do the lessons stop?

I had lovely but really busy weekend that ended with bloody drama. My friend who didn’t make it to the restaurant on my birthday took me out for dinner. Her son is my ‘play’ God son. It was so nice to see him, but it did leave me pondering a bit. He had his Nintendo, his mum had her blackberry so there was very little conversation!

I’m thinking maybe that’s why he likes to spend time with me? The times we’ve been together we went to the local aquarium, out for lunch, cinema then talked about the film. We talk. Hmm…

It was my God daughters birthday and she had a bouncy castle. It was fancy dress and all the girls were dressed like princesses, and the one boy in the group was dressed like a king! lol

On Sunday I went to ‘play’ sister’s play (yes I collect family lol). All the time you hear about the negative youngsters, but never about the positive ones. It was put on by a local church, and it was a really good play, with a wonderful message. I think those are the types of things I want to go to now. Uplifting and optimistic.

On the way home I was at a set of traffic lights and a posh car screeched next to me. I glanced at the driver, smiled and faced the front again. I heard a voice so I turned back and he had his window down asking me for my number! I shook my head because I’ve got a million and one things to be thinking about. Men are really high on my list right now. He continued to ask, and eventually I thought, sod it why not? I started to wind my window down, but it got stuck. The lights changed, he sped off.

I tried to put the window up, and it moved, but was out of alignment. I pushed it back into place, and started to put it down so it can go back up properly. Then I heard the most awful noise, and the sound of broken glass. The window was stuck half open.

I phoned my insurance glass repair people and they said they could out the next afternoon. I asked them if my car would still be insured to sleep with open overnight, and was met with silence, then ‘so would you like the appointment?’. I took it, but then phone autoglass. The earliest they could do was between 2-4am. So I took it. The guy arrive at about half 2 and said that the window mechanism needs replacing. Once that is done then I needed to get the window done.

I  must have looked like I was feeling because he kindly offered to secure the window for me, and said if I could find the part at a breakers yard, he’d fit it for me. He left eventually about 4 and I had 3.5 hours sleep before going to work…




My dad was trying for world domination in his younger days. I have about 20 siblings on my dads side. I haven’t met them all because they don’t all live here in England. My sister who lives up north was down for the weekend, and he took her around seeing as many of us as possible. He decided to take her to see a sister I’ve never met before, and I decided to join them.

We had an absolutely great time, she has the life that I have been dreaming about. She’s married, has 5 gorgeous kids and eats how I’ve been aspiring to for a long time. She’s practically vegan and training to be a holistic dietitian. She’s growing tomatoes and aloe vera, and her husband has started clearing out the garden to put in a little vegetable patch.

She was showing me how she uses non gluten flour for traditional Jamaican dishes, and I was telling her what best to mix shea butter with to make body lotions.  I think she was surprised at my knowledge, it’s all quite new to her and so she’s really enthusiastic. When I told her how to make make almond milk she nearly died with excitement, and I explained to her how I became so knowledgeable.

I have endometrosis, and had a laparoscopy and had some tissue burned away. Even after that though, I was still having really painful periods. I decided to not only change my eating habits, but to do a total body cleanse.

I went to Thailand and fasted for a week and did daily colonics. While I was out there, I read a lot of books about traditional diets of Africans before slavery, and why certain ‘healthy’ things like diary products are not good for people of colour.

I felt fabulous, and when I came back, I still ate meat, but very rarely. I would only eat raw fruits and veg for breakfast and lunch, and my plate was 50% raw for dinner. My snacks were nuts and seeds and I looked and felt fabulous.

Then pressures of life started to get to me. I had to move out of the place I was renting in a day because of a dodgy landlord, and then I was house sharing and it was impossible to set up the same the kitchen in  the way I needed it and in truth I got a bit lazy. Then I started to have accidents and all those eating habits have all but disappeared.

Talking to her made me realise how far away I am from my own ideals. I’m eating white rice/flour/pasta, when I never used to before, and have started eating more diary than I know is good for me. To be honest I’m not sure if I would go back to being as stringent as before, but I have completely gone off the rails. I don’t have the energy to cook 2 meals though. I know that my mum and sister will not eat brown rice/pasta/flour, the one dish I made a few weeks back with brown rice made them fill up the rice jar (which has been empty for weeks and I’ve been asking them to fill up from the 5kg bag in the cupboard) immediately!

I simply cannot cook two meals so I’m going to have to be as healthy as I can be here, and when I move out, I’ll start incorporating my old ways back into my life.

It was lovely to meet her though, and I’ve been invited back next weekend for a birthday party.

It was interesting to watch the dynamics between my dad and my sisters. The two I was around yesterday were both born in Jamaica, and there is a difference between them and us born in England. I am a huge critic of my dads babymaking ways and we clash on a lot of topics, whereas they just seem to get it. They can somehow wrap him around their little finger in way I would never try.



An apple and a nectarine


And then my phone camera died… Well not completely, but the flash isn’t working so I can only take pictures in the daylight. I’ve seen a camera on special offer that I’m going to get this week. I need my phone to be a phone most importantly.


Chicken soup with potato and dumpling.


A custard cream, I have to say that Lidl’s custard creams are disgusting. Sainsbury’s basics are much better.

At my sisters she was telling me how great dumplings are made with rye flour instead of white flour. So I had 1 of those with some ackee.

I was very proud of the fact that my dad bought a whole lot of junk for kids (my sister went mad, as they just don’t eat that stuff), and I didn’t take a packet of crisps even though I wanted to.

Whoopsie = Name given to items that are reduced as the sell by date is the next/same day.

Yesterday I went to the place where the Adult Learning week taster sessions were supposed to be and the gates were locked. I’ve left a telephone message for the coordinator today, and had no response so maybe they’ve cancelled it?

I think it may be lack of interest, but they haven’t publicised this week at all. It’s a shame, with the amount of people being made redundant at the moment, sessions like this are very useful.

On the way home, I decided to get the rest of my groceries for the week, from Sainsburys. It was about 8.30pm.

The last time I went to Sainsburys late, as I was queueing up to check out, there was an announcement that they had put all the reduced items in a fridge the tobacco counter. I was on the other side of the shop, and didn’t have the energy to walk down there, but filed the information for future use.

When I went in yesterday I went straight to that particular fridge. It looked sparse so I didn’t expect anything decent to be left. When I got their though, there was packets of their ‘extra special’ beef mince reduced from £3.19 to 50p!

There was also a joint of beef reduced from £5.80 to £1.50, and a tub of double cream for 35p.

I’ve been wanting some cream to I can attempt to make my own butter.

Now I know where the whoopsies are kept in Sainsburys, I’ll make sure I go around 8ish and see what they have on offer from now on.

When I was back in my car, I phoned the house to ask someone to be ready to help me with the shopping. I had only gone in for some frozen pepper slices and a tin of chopped tomatoes!

My mum was waiting by the door, and she stomped up to the car, took the bags and stomped into the house. I went into the kitchen where she was unpacking the bags.

There was no ‘ooh you picked up some bargains’ or anything, she just piled everything on to the side, went upstairs and slammed the door.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.


Egg and quorn fried rice


Sardines and pasta


Lamb with steamed vegetables









I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to cook this week. There is still no rice in the jar, even though I have asked my sister and my mum, who she is down stairs at this very moment. I’m going to buy some brown rice, that is the rice I normally cook with, and will using that. If they don’t like it,  it’s their business because I’ve been asking them to fill up the jar for weeks now!

Here’s my revelation

I can only change myself.

For months I’ve been trying to get my mum and sister to waste less money, and to eat healthier. They simply don’t want to do it.This weekend my mum went to the supermarket and do you know what she bought? A loaf of bread and some nuts. The rice and pasta jars are both empty, there’s no tinned tomatoes, no fresh vegetables in the house and that is the only thing she could buy?

Instead of stressing about it, and trying to make everything perfect for everyone, I’m going to just cook. If they eat it fine, if they don’t I’ll freeze it and eat it another time. There is just no point me wasting my time, money and energy on them.


Goals for the week.

The first tier are ‘musts’ and the second tier are ‘would like tos’.

1st tier

In bed before midnight.

I’m going to keep trying to be consistent with this one.

Drink water.

2 litres of water everyday.


Even though it doesn’t help the pain go away, I feel better when I stretch regularly. I’ve found some stretches that can be done without lying down (I don’t have the space) and so will start my daily stretching again.

5 minutes of movement everyday.

Read another investment book.

I’m going to start How to read the financial pages this week

Cancel Love Film

Only use the laptop 6 hours per day.

I  find I’m spending too much time online. Rather than a curfew, I think giving myself a time limit is more realistic.

Continue looking for car insurance

Keep trying to bring my doctor appointments forward

2nd Tier

Spanish Grammar.

Half an hour per day.

Go to the pool twice this week.

I’ll drop the repetitions and see if that makes a difference.